Unfortunately the normal editor of Fore Info, Andy Thomsen, is in hospital. We all wish Andy a speedy recovery and a return to not only the computer screen, but also to some golf!
Please accept my apologies if this issue of Fore Info doesn’t quite come up to Andy’s high standards.
- At its meeting early in January the Management Committee (ManCom) approved unanimously the renewal of the corporate membership scheme for HPLS* to be effective as from 1st April.
- By a majority vote ManCom also approved a request from the Finance Sub-Committee to allocate £500 towards the cost of connecting mains electricity to the ball-dispensing machine near the 1st Tee in order to make life easier for the Club Professional. ManCom was informed that the other £500 had been promised by the Social Sub-Committee.
*Hampshire Police Leisure and Sport
From the Club Captain
The course was in good condition for the time of year and the greens were exceptional. This is the benefit of having a course overlying chalk and combined with our first class Greens Team, ensures our members can enjoy their golf during the winter. This also attracts visitors who are unable to play on their own course or who just want to play on a course that does not swallow your ball! This underpins our winter membership scheme, which has been such a great success, not only adding to the fee income for the club but also securing ten new members (5 or 7 day) from the winter scheme of 2016 to 2017. Hopefully, some of the current winter membership will also consider joining.
The Captain v Pro Challenge match on Boxing Day attracted 72 players. Malcolm’s careful selection of his team paid off with his subsequent 9½ to 8½ win. It was pleasing to see so many ‘none playing’ members and family in the Clubhouse after the golf enjoying a great atmosphere.
The New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance was again hugely successful with delicious food celebrating the four countries of the UK. This was followed by a disco with some very entertaining dancing by the Ladies in the latter part of the evening.
The Fun Pub Quiz was well supported on the 19th January. The following evening, 17 members enjoyed a carvery meal provided by Chris and Kelly. There will be a Quiz and Chinese New Year Buffet on the 16th February and you can reserve your place by signing up on the sheet in the club foyer. My thanks to the Social Committee for organising these events, which require a great deal of time and effort. Please support them by signing up for as many events as you are able, sure in the knowledge that the food provide by Chris and his team will be excellent.
Thank you to the 21 Past Captains who invited me as a guest to their annual dinner on the 12th January. I thoroughly enjoyed an excellent evening; good food, the alcohol flowed and some of the Captains were able to remember a few good jokes to entertain us. Thank you to Andrew Frearson for organising a very successful evening.
The draw tickets for the Captain’s parking space raffle are now on sale in both the Pro Shop and the Bar. The draw will be held at the Quiz evening on the 16th February. All the monies raised will go to the Captains’ Charity, Transplant Sport.
The men’s matches commence on the 18th February when we will take on the County Team in a scratch competition. This is followed two weeks later by a match against the County Juniors. Please come along to watch as you will see some very good golf. Last year Scott Gregory played in this match and then went on to play in the US Masters!!
I was listening to a discussion in the club house on winter rules and specifically preferred lies on all closely mown areas on a par 3. The R&A state “A ball lying on a closely-mown area through the green may be lifted without penalty and cleaned. Before lifting the ball, the player must mark its position. Having lifted the ball, he must place it on a spot within a specified distance (6 inches at Alresford) and not nearer the hole than where it originally lay”. “Through the green” is defined as “the whole area of the course except (a) the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played, and (b) all hazards on the course”. From this, it is clear that preferred lies are permitted on the closely mown areas of a par 3. I hope this clarifies the position.
So, if the year continues to zip past at this rate, my year as Ladies Captain will soon be over!! Not that I want it to be… but I wouldn’t mind some better weather, especially on a Tuesday!
The New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance was great fun and very well organised by our Social committee. The room looked lovely with a red, white and blue theme, and the dinner was delicious. I really enjoyed myself, and as some of you know, even managed to get John (our Bar Manager) up for a wee dance. There are pictures, but I will fine anyone who produces them!
The New Year’s Roll up went well with about 28 Men and Ladies braving the rainy weather, I am sure they all felt, like I did, pleased to get into the Clubhouse for a nice hot soup to warm them up. I think it was after this that Ray and I decided to book a short holiday in the sun! It was sad to see the Christmas decorations come down, but I always feel in some ways it gets the New Year rolling…
We have now played two rounds of the Winter Triple, firstly at Lee on the Solent and last Friday at home. I wish I could report back good news but at the moment we are coming third with Lee first, and Corhampton just 2 points behind them. We have a lot to do to catch up, so all to play for on Monday 19th Feb at Corhampton.
We did so well in the Legg Bowl getting to the third round, but unfortunately, we were stopped in our tracks at Hamptworth which is a very difficult course. Our team of Linda Glynn, Linda Wager, Sue Masser and Gill Freemantle played very well and only just lost out – so well done to them.
This month, our Handicap Committee has undertaken the annual handicap review. CONGU have introduced a new category 6 for Ladies and the new maximum handicap is now 54. A number of you have now got a more realistic handicap and the hope is this will make the game more enjoyable and give you a better chance of doing well in competitions. Anyone with a handicap of up to 54 will still be able to enter competitions where there isn’t a handicap limit. You are now also able to do as many 18 or 9 hole supplementary cards as you want… so please keep putting those cards in.
As announced at the AGM, we have entered a team into the Annodata Matchplay Competition, which replaces the Mail on Sunday. There is a handicap limit of 24 and the sign up sheet, if you would be interested in representing the Club, is on the Captain’s board. Closing date is 28th February.
Also, like last year we have entered the Romsey Team Tournament which is on Wednesday 4th July… there is also a sign up sheet for this as well and the closing date is 12th March… great day out for only £20pp.
Please take a look at the County Section also on the board, there are plenty of competitions to enter this year, for every handicap… always good fun and great value.
So, on that note… let’s hope we are getting to the end of the cold weather… the daffodils are back in the shops which is a sure sign Spring is on the way… wrap up warm and get out and enjoy our lovely course.
Match Committee Report
The last day for playing league matches for the Winter Leagues is or was Sunday 4th February. On Monday 5th the winners of each group together with the relevant runners up will be calculated and the draw for the knock-out sections will be posted on the notice boards. In addition, the draws will be published on the website. Please remember that both parties in the draw are equally responsible for arranging the match and make sure you take note of the closing date for each round.
The entry sheets for all the Summer Knock-Outs are in the Pro’s Shop. The closing date for entry to the Wessex (Men’s singles), Ross Over 50’s (Men’s singles), Rotherham (Mixed foursomes) and Company Cup (Mixed singles) competitions is Sunday 4th March. The draw for all the competitions will be done on Monday 5th March in the Clubhouse.
The Annual Review of handicaps has been completed and those whose handicaps have been ajusted have all been notified. The main objective of the Annual Review is try and ensure that a player’s handicap is a reasonable reflection of their current playing ability so that they can compete equitably with everyone else. The assessment of playing ability is primarily based on the player’s qualifying scores over the past year. This year the Annual Review has been influenced by changes to the handicapping system of which the most significant is the change of the handicap limit for both genders to 54. This has been introduced for a number of reasons.
- All other handicapping systems in use around the world have much higher handicap limits and we can now assume that 54 will be the limit for the new World Handicap System which is likely to be introduced in 2020.
- Allow players who are declining in ability for whatever reason to remain competitive and thus stay actively involved in golf.
- Encourage new players by giving them a handicap they can compete with and that will enable them to measure improved performance.
We will be monitoring members’ performance throughout the year, particularly those who a struggling to play to handicap.
To be valid, a round for a Supplementary Score must be played over a qualifying course. So, if there are more than 2 temporary greens and/or the length of the course has been reduced by more than 100 yards, you cannot submit a Supplementary Score. While it’s fairly obvious when there are temporary greens in operation, it is difficult to gauge the adjusted length of the course when the tee markers are often being moved forward some distance and the 11th forward tee is in operation. To compensate for this situation, between now and the beginning of March, if, and only if, you are playing a round for a Supplementary Score, you should play off the distance plates for the course you are playing.
A reminder, also, that the procedure for registering intent to submit a Supplementary Score has changed. You must now sign-in using the computer terminal in the Entrance Hall, and on completion of your round you should enter your score on the terminal. Failure to follow this procedure will result in your submitted score being null and void.
Please note that the dates of some Trophy competitions have been moved this year; for example, the Alresford Show Trophy is at the end of May this year, whereas previously it was in August. Also, the printed diary has an Over 60’s medal on Friday 6th April, and one on Monday 9th April. This is obviously not correct; the Over 60’s medal for April will be on Monday 9th April. The diary on the website is correct.
A Look at the Rules
In a match between A and B, A played his tee shot out of turn. B requested A to abandon the ball and play in the correct order. However, after B played, he told A not to bother playing another ball. What is the ruling?
This report is from your absentee captain who is sunning himself in New Zealand in 32 degrees of heat. I am staying with my family doing grandfatherly duties but hopefully will get a furlough to play golf at the lovely ‘Lakeview Golf and Country Club’ at which I am known as ‘English Chris’. Your secretary also played a round there last year and can vouch for its quality.
Back at the ranch, we remain in second place in the winter league, having achieved a draw against South Winchester at home early in January. We are behind Hockley, who also, sadly have a game in hand.
It is time to sign up for the summer knock outs, so please have a look at the board.
Hope to see many of you on my return in early March.
…from the Secretary
BE SAFE ON THE GOLF COURSE
RAIN / MUD / FROST / ICE = slippery golf course, especially grass banks, wooden sleepers and any untreated areas.
PLEASE TAKE CARE and keep to the paths whenever possible. DO NOT walk on slopes.
If the roads are icy in the morning on your way to the club – it is fair to assume that the car park and the paths around the club will be icy too! We do our best to grit and salt these areas but please take care.
Welcome to the following new members who have all joined the club starting during January and February so far; Michael Kerby, Graham Foulkes, Richard Hooper and Mrs Jackie Coulson (Winter members), Mrs Liz Clarkson (Academy), Bob Archer ( 5 day) , David Forrest (7 day), Billy Goulding and Joshua Richardson (Juniors).
We hope that your time at the club will be a long and enjoyable one for all of you.
May I remind all members that we are welcoming new membership enquiries for all categories? If you know any friends or acquaintances who are thinking of joining a club or changing clubs, please do your best to sell them the benefits of Alresford.
Special Member Referral Offer
Refer a new 5 or 7 day playing member and receive An EXTRA £50 credit on your bar card
Speak to the Secretary for more information
CLUB ‘ROLL UP’
Fancy a game in the week? All members are welcome to come along to the ‘club roll-up’ on Wednesday mornings. The usual start time is 11am during the summer and 10.30am during the winter months all timings subject to any advanced tee reservations.
Wednesday 7th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 14th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 21st ~ 9.30am (due to society booking)
Wednesday 28th ~ 11.00am
Wednesday 7th ~ 11.00am TBC (Vets Capt.v Vets V-Capt)
Wednesday 14th ~ 11.00am (mid-week stableford)
Wednesday 21st ~ 11.00am
Please Note Change to Friday Bar Closing Times
Over the Winter / Spring period the Clubhouse (and Bar) will close on Fridays as per the normal weekday times, unless there is an event or pre-booked function. Below is the current list of dates when the bar will be closed earlier.
- Friday 2nd February
- Friday 9th February
Please check the club website and main noticeboard for changes to these dates.
Members Guest Green Fees Special Offer
Due to the continued success of this scheme, we will offer the GUEST GREEN FEE DISCOUNT OFFER again in 2018. Over the course of the season bring either 6 guests for £135 or 10 guests for £225. These will be available ONLY from the Secretary in advance (not the pro shop).
Please be aware that all ‘visits’ must be used by 31st December 2018. No refund or extension will be given on unused ‘visits’. Normal restrictions apply.
Forthcoming Events For Your Diary
Friday 16th February
CHINESE NEW YEAR BUFFET & QUIZ NIGHT
Sunday 25th February
SUNDAY LUNCH CARVERY
Saturday 10th March
CLUB QUIZ NIGHT (KIT’S QUIZ)
Sunday 11th March
MOTHERING SUNDAY LUNCH CARVERY
Saturday 17th March
ST. PATRICK’S NIGHT
Subscription Renewals 2018
Despite our pleas there are still members who have not paid their subscriptions yet. You are not entitled to play until such time as we receive payment. Contrary to some popular belief – January is not a free month on us!
If you intend not to rejoin – a telephone call or email to let us know is greatly appreciated. Simply to ignore your invoice and subsequent reminders just causes us extra work.
Do you like the regular daily posts which are currently happening? Is there anything which you feel would be useful to include?
Make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and you will link to it and get the regular pictures and updates on what’s happening! Share our page to your friends.
SLOW PLAY? It’s not me, it’s everyone else!
Slow play. It’s the topic of conversation that just won’t go away. Tap in to the post-round chat in virtually any clubhouse, and someone, somewhere will be moaning about how long its just taken to play a round of golf. The irony is that in an era when most us of us are facing more time pressure than ever, a round of golf is taking longer than ever.
In a comprehensive survey last year from The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, most of the ‘Top 10 reasons for slow play’ from a shortlist of 26 were deemed to be down to the player, and many of those factors have made it onto the playlist of videos (listed below) that we have produced to draw closer attention to the issue…
- Players not being ready to play when the course is clear or it’s their turn
- Elaborate pre-shot routines that take too long
- Players not calling faster golfers through soon enough
- General greenside etiquette
- Not playing a provisional ball when the original is in some doubt
- Not following or watching offline shots closely enough
- Marking cards on tees when someone should be hitting
I reported last month that due to wet conditions we had held back starting work rebuilding the greenside bunkers on the 4th and 13th. The story for January was rain! We have had 4.5 inches of rain this month already. Coupled with the 6 inches of rain in December, we consider that starting the project now would be a high-risk strategy in terms of guaranteeing recovery in time for the playing season. As a result, the decision has been made to delay this project until October/November this year. Instead, we have brought forward the rebuilding of the 5th and 6th tees as well as removing the mat on the 8th. Some of the piles of chalk and soil adjacent to the 6th green will be used for these projects and any excess will be moved to the range once the course is drier.
Generally, the course is in good condition considering the weather. You will recall that in October we treated 6 greens by “drill and fill” and we are very pleased with their performance through this winter so far with dryer surfaces and good grass cover. For the past 2/3 years these greens have suffered in these conditions but a combination of drill and fill and the pollarding behind 4th and 12th have proved successful.
These wet conditions often expose slippery, potentially hazardous areas on the course. The walk from 8th green to 9th tee will soon recover and no longer provide unexpected sitting down opportunities (RW, BO, SF). The 8th tee has improved significantly since the removal of trees and I’m delighted to advise that the artificial tee mat has been taken up and re-sited on the practice range.
We are expecting the tenders from 3 arborists by the end of January and hope to receive the report during February. These professionals have been very impressed by the work being done by our team. The attached photograph shows a dangerous branch removed from a tree on the right of the 12th fairway. This branch was split at the top and water has done it’s work unseen from the ground. Very lucky this was spotted before it fell!
I do hope for an improvement in the weather. I know we are fortunate here on our fine, free-draining downland golf course. We are able to play when many other local courses are closed or unplayable, but enough is enough!
A Look at the Rules
A was not obliged to comply with B’s instruction to continue with the original ball. B incurred no penalty for giving the instruction.
Whether A continued with his original ball or played another ball in correct order as was his right, the result of the hole should stand as played.
The winners of the 100 Club prize draw for February were:
£100 – John Harmes
£50 – Carol Middleton
£32 – Sarah Thorne
£32 – Jess Miles
£32 – Simon Freemantle
£32 – David Nightingale
Congratulations to this month’s winners. The next draw will take place in the week beginning 20th February … look for the list of winners on the Secretary’s notice board.
Not a member of the 100 Club?
The objective of the Alresford Golf Club 100 Club is to raise funds for projects and items requiring capital expenditure that will enhance the Golf Course and/or the Clubhouse. Such projects would generally be considered as ‘extras’ and not necessarily be within the Club budget. The 100 Club was launched in 1987 to raise funds to augment the Centenary celebrations of the Golf Club in 1990, but at the request of the members, the 100 Club has continued to raise funds for items such as the Information Board and Clock on the 1st tee and the Automatic External Defibrillator in the Entrance Hall.
If you’re not a member of the 100 Club, you can become one for as little as £1 per month. Shares in the 100 Club are purchased for £1 per month and there is no limit on the number of shares which can be held. In general, most members have between 1 and 5 shares and pay by monthly direct debit, though it’s also possible to pay quarterly or annually. Each share is allocated a number which in entered in the monthly draw. The top prize is £100, with a second prize of £50 and four other prizes of £32. For more information contact George Clelland on 01962 735008 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call in to the Secretary’s office.
Burns Supper 2018
As always, the guests were greeted by the skirl of the bagpipes played by Iain Laird which set the scene for the evening. The traditional supper of Cullen Skink (a soup made with smoked haddock, potatoes and onion), the main course of haggis served with neeps and tatties and followed by Cranachan Cheesecake for dessert, was expertly prepared by Chris and Kelly Pullinger.
As is traditional, the haggis was piped in, carried by chef Adam and attended by John Murray bearing drams for the ceremonial party. The haggis was addressed, toasted and then returned to the kitchen for serving.
The main speech and toast, The Immortal Memory of Robert Burns, was proposed by Tom McGrath who, from his own childhood in rural Ireland, was able to empathise with Burns’ life as a tenant farmer. Mike Roe gave the Toast to the Lassies, at one point bursting into song to demonstrate how well men can express their love. A very thoughtful response was given by Catherine Carberry in her Reply frae the Lassies as she described how men might be considered as being from Mars, but that the lassies were much more grounded and organised. The evening concluded with everyone giving a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
I would like to give my personal thanks to all those who contributed to the success of the evening. The dining room was prepared, and the tables dressed by Jennifer Clelland, Annie Beal and Len Lochrie. During the Supper itself, my thanks go to Len Lochrie for delivering the Selkirk Grace; Mary Panter for proposing the Loyal Toast; Brian Wright for his complimentary vote of thanks; Chris and Kelly and all the kitchen and serving staff; John and Tracy at the bar; our piper Iain Laird and of course, the principal speakers, Tom McGrath, Mike Roe and Catherine Carberry.
Men’s & Mixed Competitions
13th January – Pro’s Stableford (Mixed)
1st Ashley Wilmott 38 pts
2nd Steve Morgan 38 pts
3rd Neil Hunter 37 pts
4th John Allen 36 pts
27th January – Pro’s Stableford (Mixed)
1st Gary Mugford 39 pts
2nd Ben Unsworth 39 pts
3rd Andy Sibbald 38 pts
4th Ashley Wilmott 36 pts
6th & 9th January – Stableford
Division 1 Sarah Farthing – 35 pts
Division 2 Elaine Spreadbury – 34 pts
Division 3 Pat Wallis – 23 pts
Ladies’ External Competitions
8th January – Winter Triple @ Lee-on-the-Solent
Lee on the Solent 95 pts
Corhampton 91 pts
Alresford 88 pts
26h January – Winter Triple @ Alresford
Lee on the Solent 96 pts Aggregate 191
Corhampton 98 pts Aggregate 189
Alresford 90 pts Aggregate 178
11th January – Legg Bowl
3rd Round: Alresford v Hamptworth (Away) – Lost
Editor: Andy Thomsen
The Editorial Team take no responsibility for incorrect information received from Contributors.